Where in the World is Rob Cohen?


A question I was asking myself when I sat down to watch this for late-night lulz…turns out he never left. Rob Cohen, father of Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Connor, is still concocting cockamamie would-be blockbusters with young semi-recognizable actors climbing and leaping off of eighteen-wheelers. In The Hurricane Heist, it’s Toby Kebbell and Maggie Grace racing against time to retrieve a stolen cache of U.S. treasury cash from a group of paramilitary thieves in the middle of a so-called storm of the century. Cohen has kept a low profile since the one-two franchise-starting punch of Fast and the Furious and XXX, hokey early-aughts bro-mobiles that are still, against all odds, paying dividends to this day. The lulz are few and far between, intentionally or otherwise, but despite the inherent silliness or incompetent writing on display, Cohen has come a long way as a filmmaker of practical stunts and computer-generated mayhem. Crane dollies and flooded sets give Heist propulsive energy and a refreshing tangibility, which is more than I can say for most mid-budget (or even high-budget) actioners in 2018. What’s not refreshing are the hammy performances from Ralph Ineson as a thieving ringleader and Ben Cross as a thick-accented sheriff, both of them shooting over the top in the most uninteresting of ways. In fact, hysterical southern accents are quite plentiful here, complete with unfunny one-liners the writers came up with for kicks (apparently). Neither they nor the characters’ corny backstories do Cohen any favors in making his audience forget about those hokey bro-mobiles of yore.

Grade: C

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